Cary Helton of San Jose Country Club to lead JAGA in 2024


The Jacksonville Area Golf Association (JAGA) recently elected its 2024 officers at its end-of-year annual meeting at Marsh Landing Country Club. Cary Helton of San Jose Country Club was elected president and will lead the organization in 2024, its 71st year.

Helton replaces John Milton of Jax Beach Golf Club, who served as JAGA president in 2023.

Joining Helton in the 2024 JAGA officer ranks are:

  • Jeff Johnstone of Sawgrass Country Club returns to serve as vice president of tournaments for the third year in a row.
  • Jim Loftin of The Palencia Club was elected vice president of administration.
  • Ryan Wharton of The Golf Club of South Hampton is JAGA’s new secretary.
  • Milton, who added interim treasurer to his role in 2023 with the passing of long-time treasurer Billy Walker in April, was elected to resume serving as treasurer in 2024.

 Loftin and Wharton are first-time JAGA officers.

JAGA wishes to thank outgoing officers John Tancredi and Vincent Celestino. Tancredi (Marsh Landing CC) served three years as a very strong Vice President of Administration, while Celestino (Marsh Creek CC) held down the Secretary duty in 2022 and ’23.

Established in 1954, JAGA enters its 71st year in 2024. It is a not-for-profit corporation of approximately 40-member golf clubs located in Northeast Florida. JAGA’s mission is to promote golf, community and goodwill through tournaments and related events and activities.

It conducts or supports 12 tournaments, including six championship events and six others that feature team formats. JAGA has a charitable arm that manages a scholarship program, which currently provides college funding for 40-45 area students. Since 1974, the program has generated approximately $2 million in financial aid to approximately 400 students.